review: A Night on a Mountain in Namadgi National Park

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Whenever I fly from Melbourne to Canberra I try and get a window seat facing south, to get whatever glimpses I can of the High Country. The descent takes you over the wonderfully rocky, domed ridges of the Brindabella Ranges, scattered with frost hollows and ratty looking snow gum fringed ridgelines.

I haven’t been up into those mountains for years, but it’s on my perennial ‘to go’ list. Coming from the south I find the Main Range of the Snowies is normally sufficiently distracting that I don’t get any further north.

In the modern world of evolving media, the concept of ebooks has become popular. These can be books on specialised themes made by regular people, which are available in a print per purchase format, allowing an idea for a book to make it onto paper without the costs and commitment of producing a large print run.

A Night on a Mountain in Namadgi National Park is produced by Barrie Ridgway and available via Blurb, one of the online book companies. When you order it, a copy is printed and mailed.

The author says “this book is a textual and photographic portrayal of the beauty, vastness, peace and preciousness of wilderness in general and a unique Australian wilderness in particular. It is my portrayal of the need to preserve wilderness in its own right for the survival of all life on this planet Earth”.

It is a set of visually gorgeous photos taken as the author and his friends climb a peak in Namadgi Park to watch the sun set and spend the evening on the mountain. It reminds me of the ‘mountain viewing rituals’ described by deep ecological thinker Dolores laChapelle.

The book is primarily full colour photos, with some minimal commentary about the journey up the mountain and a plea to protect wilderness. It is a worthy addition to our literature about the Australian Alps, largely letting the landscape speak for itself, albeit through the eyes (lens) of someone with a great affinity for the place.

You can buy it via the Blurb website. Although this is expensive, it is a glorious book of 98 pp, with lots of gorgeous full colour pics at all scales, from the micro to the landscape level. The Softcover version comes in at about $50.

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